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Spanking Theatre

Spanking stories for the theatre between your ears

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storytelling

Tales from the Dark Side

In a week’s time, it will be Halloween. Around this time, as the nights darken and the leaves fall, it’s become a bit of a tradition on this blog to write a darker themed spanking story.

Most erotic stories take place in familiar settings, and describe familiar sexual activities. They tend to feature scenarios of
powerplays and pleasure that chime with readers’ own sexual fantasies. They arouse and excite the readers’ imaginations, they often make the reader come.

But I believe there’s also a darker, more
psychological direction for erotic writing. Stories that explore shadow themes like trepidation and
anxiety, transgression and taboo, suspense and uncertainty, danger and death.

A story can disturb, as well as arouse. A well-constructed story can do both. And because we often eroticise what frightens and disturbs us, ghost stories can be unexpectedly arousing. Even if the classic tropes of Gothic fiction (tormented narrators, psychological terror, surreal distortions of reality, and bodyshock, the uncomfortably visceral nature of our own bodies) – aren’t what you’d usually think of as being sexually exciting.

Isn’t it interesting that the word perversion is often used, in different contexts, to describe both horror fiction and erotic fiction?

Darker stories offer the chance to push the boundaries of storytelling a little, to shock as well as tantalise. To adopt more perilous settings, where the jeopardy isn’t missing out on getting laid, it’s getting killed.

My upcoming tale is a ghost story set in the 18th century, amid the Age of Pirates. This is not a jolly romp of buried treasure chests and talking parrots, but a tale set in a brutal world at the fringes of civilization. It contains taboo themes like rape, blood and death. Sensitive souls should skip this one.

In the meantime, if you’d like to get in the mood with something
darkly erotic, here are the Halloween stories I’ve published previously:

  • Fall
    is set on a Halloween night, in 1950s New England. When a group decides to escape suburbia, and explore a reputedly haunted house.
  • Glimpse
    is one of my personal favourites. A dark ghost story of erotic
    temptation and punishment, in the spirit of Poe and MR James. As
    dark and disturbing as a bottomless pit.
  • Grimoire is a tale of invaded minds and dark obsessions, of enchanted books and well-spanked bottoms.
  • Runaway is a story about escapism and erotic submission. Because you can’t run away without ending up somewhere.
  • Stolen Essence
    mixes the supernatural and the kinky, featuring passages
    that are surreal, fantastical and dream-like. Heavily inspired by
    Gothic tropes, this is a dark, ambiguous psychological story.
  • The Girl in the Mirror is a story about captivity and freedom, when two worlds meet.

Have you ever climaxed in pitch darkness, as the midnight bell has tolled?

World Building

What makes a good erotic story?

It’s a common question in my inbox, so I’ll try to answer all the different variations of that question here.

I believe the
defining feature of visual pornography is titillation – where there’s no reason to think deeply or care about what’s going on. It’s just
like the ‘action porn’ blockbusters that are really just sequences of evermore outrageous fights and things
blowing up. 

Some written erotica falls into the same trap. It hurries into explicit descriptions of sexual acts.

Now, I love the cold open narrative technique, where the story jumps straight into the action and then provides some backstory when it’s hooked the reader by their eyeballs. But it’s easily abused, some stories just carry on describing the opening scene, until it becomes the whole story, and it ends.

Cold opens only work if the storyteller is willing to pause the ongoing drama, backtrack and do some exposition. Without changes in dramatic tension, there is no chance of building that most crucial aspect of an erotic story: sexual tension.

A story devoid of sexual tension is unfulfilling. Titillating stories offer no
opportunities for emotional investment. There are no characters to care
about, no points of view to take sides on, no ambiguity, no drama,
secrets or surprises.

If you’re telling a story – and this applies to any story, from a two-page short story to a two-hour movie, you have to make things matter.

For me, the most enjoyable part of writing is World Building. There is nothing so satisfying as fleshing out a complete imaginary world, deciding on its setting, anticipating its past, present and future, and crafting it until it’s logically consistent and believable.

World Building is the defining characteristic of fantasy novels, because they’re set in imaginary worlds. The best create a ‘universe’ with its own history and geography. Think of Harry Potter, or Star Wars, or Middle Earth or Westeros. These are immersive worlds for the reader to get lost in, to be thinking about long after the story ends. 

I like to think of my stories as meandering waters, I don’t aim to write tales that are flood torrents, a few pages that sweep readers away and they’re gone. I prefer to write stories that take time to tell, which will describe an imaginary world, and take readers on a satisfying journey.

The latest story, Head Girl, is a good example.

Like Inevitable, it’s set in an imagined world, a future that might yet come to be. The world of Head Girl feels competitive and impersonal, it features familiar tropes in unfamiliar settings. And it explores how new technology, like ultra-high definition immersive virtual reality – has the potential to alter our perceptions of what really constitutes our reality.

And you’ll notice, none of this is to do with sex. Great erotic stories are rarely just about sex. They’re adventures, expeditions into the unknown. Opportunities to experience something only our imagination can provide. A chance to vicariously indulge in danger and risk, taboos and boundary-breaking.

And where better to surprise and delight your readers than in an detailed imaginary world – somewhere beyond anything they’ve ever been able to imagine before… 

I just seen your post about your voice. I actually recorded one of your stories for my Dom the other day! Something about hearing your words with my voice was so sexy for him. I thought others would be interested in hearing this!

What a wonderful gift that was!

I wonder which story you chose? Was it a first person story, did you feel yourself tingle knowingly each time you uttered the word ‘me’?

Were there passages of particular significance to you both? When you read them aloud, did you feel like you were speaking from a place deep within, that you were teasing and exciting your partner’s mind and body?

Recording a story for a lover is such a beautifully intimate idea. A gift that can be returned to, again and again, sections played as you recline in each others arms, as a prelude to something physical – or as part of its coda afterwards.

I hope this will inspire other readers to experiment with the wondrous possibilities of their own voice, and the extraordinary evocative magic of erotic storytelling…

This is an absolutely wonderful piece on creative writing and cultural freedom by Laurie Penny.

It touches on several themes I strongly believe in, the importance of exercising one’s own imagination, and conjuring up your own worlds. That the aim of an author should not be to pontificate, but to inspire, and create a magic garden for their readers’ minds to play in.

Like many Tumblr writers, Laurie also started by writing fan-fiction. Unfairly maligned by those who seek to privatise culture, fanfic is the on-ramp for the novelists and screenwriters of tomorrow. A medium that provides opportunities to weave new stories in with familiar characters and ready-made settings.

I loved her observation that the “history of communications technology [has] always been a history of
bloody squabbles over who was allowed to write and read the official
story of human destiny and human desire.”

Do not cede your right to tell your own stories. Resist those who say culture should be a set menu from which you have to choose, however bland and unappetising the choices may be.

I strongly believe that creativity should be inclusive. Art needs its fans, its audience, its remixers and believers. And now, as we move from the era of two hour movies to episodic story-telling, there will be ever greater potential to create new worlds, and opportunities to populate with them with myriad new tales. Tales that can appeal to every minority…

… tales you don’t have to ask for permission to tell.

We Can Be Heroes: How the Nerds Are Reinventing Pop Culture

Stories for Sexbots

Here’s a thought-provoking post from the consistently wonderful sex blogger GirlOnTheNet.

In it, she muses on what would it be like to have part of you live on, far away from your
human body, having sexual adventures your real-life self could only
dream of.

As a creator of erotic fantasies, I find that idea intriguing. Currently my dissemination medium of choice is the written word, perhaps one day I’ll create some audio stories. But what if it went further? What if technology advanced to the point where stories could be physically realised? What if the stories we writers create could become part of the software of
sexbots?

Look beyond today’s primitive masturbatory toys, the sexbots of the future will not just be holes to fuck, or dildos to ride. They will be life-like puppets with behaviours as realistic as our ingenuity allows. It does not matter that they are simulations, kinky scenes rarely involve subtle explorations of humanity. Spanking machines already exist, the next generation might just have four limbs and a face.

Which brings us onto software, the creative spark that will breathe life into the machines. Perhaps some would like to download Headmistress Hastings into their robot, a strict disciplinarian with an extensive repetoire of punishments.

Or, for those who prefer to play the spanker, perhaps they’d download Serena to their robot’s mind, and dress her in Regency Era costume. Or go on erotic adventures with the irrepressable Nancy Jones.

Like the Tin Man, machines will never have a heart, or an
imagination of their own, but it’s not too far-fetched to envisage stories becoming software, being made into executable erotic screenplays for
artificial actors to perform.

The march of technology has progressively made stories more real. From scrawls on a cave wall to printed engravings. From grainy photographs to HD video. It seems inevitable we’ll go beyond sight and sound to add touch as well. With artificial intelligence to animate it.

And then, who knows, one day, you might even get to play with mine…

Telling untold stories

“There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.”

Maya Angelou

And if you need help telling that story, you might find this advice on erotic writing very useful indeed…

Never too old for fairytales?

Image: Thomas Cole, The Past and The Present (1838)

I do love fairytales.

Not the bland, colourful fast-food served up by Disney to fill its theme parks, but the dark, archaic gothic tales that have been told and retold around the glowing hearths of Europe over countless cold winter nights.

One Christmas, long ago, I read a tale that haunted my dreams. About a boy with a splinter in his eye and ice in his heart, imprisoned in an ice castle by the imperious, domineering Snow Queen, pitifully arranging ice blocks, trying to spell ‘eternity’ before his heart froze.

Then – just in time – a girl arrives, his childhood sweetheart, and the ice melts. I was too young to understand all the story’s layers. Like why I found the frigid, stern, unfeeling Queen so fascinating; I wondered if she spanked the poor boy’s bottom with her icy hands before sending him to bed each night. And back then I didn’t understand the redemptive, magical power of love…

Read More →

Erotic writing class. Any questions?

Imagine you’re at school – in an erotic writing class. Your teacher has just looked across the room and asked: “Any questions?” Would you put your hand up? What would you ask?

In true Charlie Kaufman style, I’m writing a story about writing erotic stories. So, if you have a question about writing or the creative process, here’s your chance to influence the direction of the story. Send it, and I’ll incorporate it.

… and at the back of the class, he saw a hand rise…

How to write stories!

Image: The Story Coaster by Grant Snider

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